Swarovski Elements: Spring/Summer 2012 Trends Usher in the Age of Reflection
As we emerge from winter cocoons into early spring sunlight, the trend forecasters at SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS have identified a desire to deepen our connection with the natural world. We are entering a new age of reflection, one that promises heightened spiritual fulfillment and a sense of quiet optimism. This relationship between happiness and harmony with nature is the theme for Spring/Summer 2012.
The search for happiness ranks high among human needs, and the pursuit of a more profound connection with nature echoes this longing. An indigo sky shimmering with stars, a desert floor iridescent with sparkling sand, soaring rocks glinting in sunlight - there is beauty everywhere, and the designs of the future will reflect these natural influences.
SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS has established five trends for Spring/Summer 2012 that capture the integrity of nature's beauty in timeless crystal: EARTH (Classic), CHALK (Romantic), ROCKS (Progressive), SAND (Harmony) and PRECIOUS METAL (Glamour). The enduring power and radiance of crystal impart sparkle and energy to this season's designs, symbolizing authenticity and unshakeable faith in the future.
Formed over millennia, earth is timeless and tangible, fecund and nurturing, yielding its bounty to flora and fauna alike, a constant reminder of our roots. Cool depths and sunkissed surfaces are reflected in natural plant dyes of citrus green offset by mysterious olive and cool browns, shot through with refractions of pink-orange Padparadscha. Loosely cut, easymix separates in graceful silks and textured fabrics, stark in their simplicity, epitomize this natural fashion aesthetic, and are enhanced with accessories made from wood, crushed leather and straw. Jewelry is traditionally crafted, often with a personal history, such as family signet rings or small earrings in classic settings. Crystal Mosaics and Crystal Buttons, Ceramics, XILION Chatons and XILION Navettes, Cosmic Baguettes and Briolette Pendants combine with silver, oxidized materials, and matte and polished surfaces in simple, almost nostalgic designs, while Ceramics Mesh and Crystal Yarn add unexpected luminosity to a palette of earth tones. Interiors are calm but contemporary, and draw on the organic elegance of ecologically sustainable architecture for inspiration. Sprinkles of crystal add depth and luster to natural surfaces. We are grounded, in tune with nature, at peace with ourselves.
With its childhood associations of pavement games and en pointe ballet shoes, Chalk breaks free of the boundaries of conventional fashion. Powdery tones of alabaster, palest grey and beige are punctuated with fuchsia, and gossamer-fine layers of organdy and organza float around the silhouette like wearable art. This graceful fragility, reminiscent of ballet tutus and romantic dancewear, is brought down to earth with spatters of dip-dye and avantgarde detailing; worn with T-shirts and denim, streetwear takes on a playful irreverence. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS appear as sprinklings of fine dust on edges of flimsy fabric. Diaphanous scarves looped round waists, youthful belt-bags and lighter-than-air footwear accentuate the innocent femininity of the New Romantic. Jewelry is delicate: strands of milky pearls, bracelets of fabric ruffles, and crystal pendants on fine silver chains. XI LION Roses, Princess Square Fancy Stones, Crystal Pearls, Polygon Drop Pendant and De-Art Pendant are set in matte porcelain, mother of pearl, silver and gunmetal, and creative use of Crystaltex-it Bandings, Crystal Yarn and Crystal Mesh Metallisee add to the look. Interiors seem 'weightless', achieved through diffuse lighting against elegantly faded colour, washed-out wood and powdery, cracked surfaces. We slip into an ethereal realm, where I ightness of being is the mode de vie.
ROCKS (Progressive) Awe-inspiring and humbling, sovereign and immutable as they are in nature, 'Rocks' is also the appropriate byword for strong, futuristic, sports-inspired clothing with high-fashion detailing. Streamlined shapes that incorporate netting, mesh and skin-revealing cutaways make their debut. Using revolutionary technical fabrics, crystal is integrated into the fibers, strengthening them and adding reflective optics and discreet sparkle. Functional accessories in high-tech materials with a spaceage aesthetic, such as backpacks, climbing gloves and near sole-less shoes that optimize grip, complete the progressive fashion statement. Earthy shades of bronze, amber, gray and opalescent green are harmonized with brilliant turquoise. Jewelry is durable, sporty and de rigueur with urban streetwear, designed to include Pendular Loch roses, Cosmic Square Rings, Step Cut Fancy Stones, Elastic Fishnet Bandings and Crystaltex Bandings. Streamlined pieces made of stainless steel, oxidized and electroformed metals, rubber, silicone and elastics push the boundaries of modern design. 'Emotech' is the key word in interior design, meaning 'emotion combined with technology'. Natural, botanicinspired fabrics, luminous art and functionality combine with textures that stimulate the senses. Think less is more.
The desert has long been an allegory for spiritual quest. A vast expanse of eternal silence, centuries old, where the forces of erosion, wind and water are unleashed to create a shimmering, crystalline landscape of sand, it tempts us to explore our ancient tribal instincts. In this nomadic world, fashion is folkloric and abstract, layered and unstructured. Dresses, coats and poncho-style jackets fold, drape and wrap around the body in a timeless, unisex manner, sometimes embellished with Crystal Yarn and Crystal Mesh. Shoes are made from simple strapping, and belts and bags from skin and vegetal materials. Rich spice tones of burnished orange, Khaki, Red Magma, Garnet and vintage gold complement the colour of sand. Amulets, pendants, stacked bangles and beaded charm bracelets fashioned from raw materials are decorated with the likes of Briolette Beads, Aquilin Beads, Galactic Beads and Rock Pendants. Sprinkles of Crystal add lustre to matte, hammered and sanded surfaces, and beading and leatherwork add decoration to beaten metals. Ottoman and Moorish mosaic-inlaid interiors meld with clean architectural lines and furniture engineered from wood or paper to produce a modern take on cross-cultural style. Our spiritual quest is over; we are at peace.
PRECIOUS METAL (Glamour)
With a colour palette of warm browns, Sunflower, lustrous golds and bursts of iridescence, Precious Metal seems imbued with the power of the sun. Representing plenitude, strength, happiness, love and hope, the warmth of yellow gold together with our fascination with sparkle pulls us towards the seductive glint of precious metals and dazzling crystal. It is a clarion call to the goddess within. Clothes are bodyfitting and molded, feline and strong, chain-mailed and threaded with gold. Shoulders are draped with heavy capes of gold. Sheer, golden gauze and metal, crushed and stiffened fabrics, and opulent printed leathers confer high drama and Amazonian glamour. Leather bags and belts resembling coiled snakes, textiles, sunglasses, footwear - even fingernails - are caught up in the gold rush. Textured, matte, sanded, untreated and partly polished jewelry pieces appear in all shades of gold and oxidized metals, together with 3D sculptural statement pieces in architectural shapes. Crystals such as XILION Chatons, Rivoli Chatons, XILION Roses and Classic Square Flat Backs are set in metallic effects using traditional gold- and silver-smithing techniques. Jewelry is almost armour-like, emphasising its warrior-goddess appeal. Gold features prominently for interiors, too, used in leather draped over chairs and applied in muted shades to walls and light-reflecting tiles. The mood is one of natural sophistication and seductive power.
Originally Published in The Stitch Times-March, 2011
Image Courtesy: kiwijewels.com